Sons of Ra Devlog 3

Writing On the Wall

Welcome back! This week’s devlog is going to be a short one, as much of our time recently has been focused on behind-the-scenes fixes and improvements, things that you guys probably don’t really want to hear about. Instead, we wanted to show the first iteration of the improved patron deity select menu.

Patron Select

As we mentioned in our first devlog, we changed the method of selecting your blessing loadouts so that you do so by choosing a patron deity who grants you a specific set of powers. This is the menu in which you make that selection. Below the depiction of the deities are images denoting the blessings they give the player. More detail on those can be found by pressing X. We really liked the idea of leaning into ancient Egyptian wall art as an inspiration for the look of this menu, and we will be tweaking the look and feel as time goes on to better capture that feeling.

 In Closing

Admittedly we would have liked to have more to show this week, but since we were all wrapped up in finals there was not a whole lot of time to get things done. That said, we will continue to keep you all updated as we continue to make changes and improvements. We’d love to also hear feedback if you guys have any suggestions or comments on what we’re doing. Just hop on over to the Contact page and give us a shout! See you all next week.

Sons of Ra Devlog 2

The Armies March

Last week we told you that there were more big, exciting things coming this week. Well, we’re here to deliver!

For most of the development of Sons of Ra, units have functioned on a system of three “normal” unit types – the Spearman, Archer, and Shieldbearer, who were all fairly similar, and one special unit – the Catapult, which existed only as a means to counter towers. The first three took advantage of a built-in rock-paper-scissors system to lend strategy to fights. While Shieldbearers were a bit bulkier than their fellows, and Archers attacked from range, all three types felt somewhat similar to use, and the only real decision that faced players was to send units that held a natural advantage against those sent by their opponent. This too frequently led to unexciting stalemates. So, we decided we needed to spice things up a little bit, and we went back to the drawing board on how to do that. Our decision was to lean into the idea of special function and apply it to more than just the Catapult.

Standing Apart from the Pack

While we liked the idea of having rank-and-file units, it was definitely wrong for them to make up three of our four different core unit types. So, we chose to take the Shieldbearer and the Archer and make them stand out – in more ways than one.Units

When we came to the decision that we were going to greatly differentiate the Shieldbearer and Archer in terms of functionality, we knew that they would also have to look different to the player. To achieve that, we changed up how the units were scaled. Now, the more significant Archer and Shieldbearer take up much more space on the map than their spear-wielding counterpart, and so stand out more to the player. This also goes to represent that Spearmen are being geared towards being designed to be sent en masse, while the Shieldbearer and Archer are specialty units to be deployed strategically to complement one’s plan of attack. To match their changes in size, Spearmen also had their gold cost slightly decreased, while Archers and Shieldbearers are now much more expensive to purchase.

A Shield for Another

When we were thinking about how to set the Shieldbearer apart, we went back to what the essence of his original design was – a tanky unit meant to take hits and provide his weaker allies a chance to get to the enemy keep. Naturally, we took this idea and ran with it to the extreme. We increased the Shieldbearer’s health to almost ludicrous levels, and gave him the ability to draw aggro from other units who can see him. If one of his allies is engaged in a fight with the other team’s units and he approaches, his friend’s attackers will turn their ire onto the Shieldbearer instead, giving his ally a fighting chance to make it through.

shieldbearer

The Sharpshooter

Similarly with how we chose to magnify the core idea of the Shieldbearer, we did the same with the Archer. From the idea of a ranged attacker meant to bring down his enemies from a distance, we arrived at a fearsome soldier capable of inflicting massive damage on groups of foes in slow, measured bursts. The archer now fires powerful arrows capable of overpenetrating targets, dealing damage to up to 3 enemies each. The Archer’s attacks deal very heavy damage, though this damage is greatly reduced for each target hit beyond the first, and his fire rate is lowered to compensate for the raw power of each attack he makes. The Archer is a true glass cannon however, as he is quickly felled if any enemies manage to make it in range of attacking him, or he draws too close to an opponent’s tower.

archer

In Closing

As promised, we had some interesting stuff to talk about this week. If you didn’t catch it in the gifs, there are some other changes coming to the game that we haven’t mentioned yet, as they are still in the works, but stay tuned because we will be formally introducing those soon when they are fully baked and out of the oven. Until then, if you’re in the area, we will be at IGDA Philadelphia’s Play Philly night this coming Tuesday, so come by and say hi! We’re excited to meet more people and show what we’ve been working on!

Sons of Ra Devlog 1

Back Into the World

Welcome! This is the first official devlog from Pharaoh Hound Games for our game, Sons of Ra. We’ve been somewhat silent on this front since our time as a class project came to a close, as only a few of us, myself (Jeff), Mark, Michael, and Joe (Brown) were able to stay on board, and we’ve been BUSY working hard to make this game the best it can be. Now that we’ve become more established, we decided that we wanted to be more consistent about updating you guys with our progress and keeping you on the inside track so you can see all the awesome stuff the team is working on. So, let’s dive in!

Rebirth

For anyone who has seen or been involved since our early days, you would know that our game used to be known as The Two Powerful Ones. After much toil, feedback analysis, and external testing, we decided to re-christen our game Sons of Ra. Along with this came a number of rebranding elements, even for PHG as a whole, to give us a more established look. Said elements are already present for you to see on our site and social media!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Patron Deities

Sons of Ra has, from the beginning, included a mechanic referred to as “blessings”, powers of the gods that the players can invoke to turn the tide of battle. We have taken this mechanic and run with the thematic elements of it to create the “patron deity” system. Now, before a match, each player will pick from a selection of gods to pledge to in return for access to a unique set of powers based upon that deity’s domain. For instance, Montu, aspect of Ra and god of war, has a set of blessings that focus on offense and using the power of the sun to bolster your attacks. Each patron offers an “ultimate” blessing that is expensive and game-changingly powerful and a “signature” blessing, which are both unique to them, as well as two basic blessings that can be seen present in the ability sets of multiple deities.

 

Base Expansions

During our first few months of development, we saw in matches that if players did not choose to use currency-based towers like the Temple and Mine, they were effectively handicapped and frequently were at a disadvantage. We felt that this was negatively affecting gameplay, so we chose to embrace a new system. Rather than choosing which towers to bring into battle, players will have access to all towers from the start. However, the Temple and the Mine have had their effect increased, and will be available as base expansions instead of as towers. Base expansions provide strong passive bonuses to the player in exchange for a large investment of gold and favor. There are two expansion slots which can be used by the player they desire, either for two different expansions or two of the same. There are plans to add two more types of expansion, which we think will lend themselves to some really cool playstyles.

 

In Closing

These are the biggest changes and updates that we are ready to talk about at this time. There are plenty of things that we did not have time to note, like UX and FX improvements, but we will be including these things in future updates when there is less major information to discuss. If all goes according to plan, next week’s devlog will also have some really exciting stuff to talk about, so we hope to see you back then!